Teela Hart’s Survivors.

I know people have wondered about it: the way that one of my dearest friends passed out of this world in silence almost a year ago now – without a word from me about it on my blog. I have gnawed a hole in one cheek over her death and the subsequent silence that has been attached to its deeply reverberating shock waves.

Teela was like a sister to me…she will always be like a sister to me.

The reason behind my lack of public response to Teela’s death is complex:

My late friend has children, the notable forces behind her strength and perseverance, the driving factor behind her survival for many years out of her life, the most recent years. Her children, as innocents, have undoubtedly been victimized alongside her throughout her domestic violence Hell over the years; they have also been subjected to loads of trauma and grief that no individual should have to carry, especially not alone.

I have been (im)patiently waiting to hear from any one of the three of them since Teela’s shocking death, to no avail. This has been why I have not openly mourned my friend’s passing yet – as I wanted to get in touch with her children, I wanted to allow them to have time to process and grieve. It was hard as Hell to wait without any word from them, and without any way to find them either.

I have been worried sick over the younger two (a boy and a girl – both still underage) since I learned that Tee was gone; I have been feeling things on a personal level in regard to their well-being (or lack, thereof), as Teela spent so much energy and time in carving out the taste of freedom and goodness that she was able to give them in the half-year or so leading up to her passing. I know that she would have looked out for my babies if the situation had ever called for it in our history together, and I have felt as if I needed to find her babies and look out for them now…in whatever capacity Life allows.

Teela’s daughter, (2 years younger than my own) finally reached out to me last night after all this time; and let me tell you it was one of the most surreal and touching (in ways both good and painful) experiences I have ever had. She is a beautiful young woman with a heart that mirrors her mama’s heart perfectly; she is a soldier just like her mama; she is struggling more than her mama would have ever been able to bear knowing – in so many various ways. But she reached out; and I intend to support her as strongly and undeniably as if she were Tee.

I was validated in my fears of what has become of Teela’s babies, that they have been forced through necessity to return from the Bat Cave to their father’s home in North Carolina…a fact that makes me want to wretch.

I confirmed many negatives and very few (if any) positives last night regarding the status of my late “Right Hand’s” surviving children…and I feel compelled to make it known to the world: the ways that these two underage and grieving children (of a TRUE mother bear that many of us knew and loved here at WP) continue to fight for the simplest of comforts and safety and security. I will write more on this topic after work, but in the meantime here’s how we can help Teela Hart’s Survivors. I thank you in advance for any humanity you might show these young people who have lost the ONLY positive force they’ve ever had.

https://www.gofundme.com/teela-harts-survivors

Bad Seed.

What were you expecting
by reaching out to me?
a disapproving stranger
without any sympathy;

I have nothing left to give you
you’ve stripped my being clean
Put that red hand back in your pocket
when you’re in my vicinity;

Your struggles and your sadness
are not lost on what I perceive
The creature you’ve turned into
was somehow born to me;

Yet, in spite of such genetics
you remain a foreign entity
I may be your mother
but my daughter is deceased;

People blame and name me
pass judgment cruelly
And perhaps, I am a failure
I don’t deny these things;

Whatever I stand up for
in the end of such tragedy
I will not be standing
for what you’ve grown up to be.

The (Un)Secret Childhood Dialogue Chronicles -Tap Shoes.

I remember once when we were only about 5 years old, and minutes away from our debut on stage in our first (and last) dance recital; I was so nervous I couldn’t see straight, but S could’ve cared less about the people or the lights or the crowds of strange little girls to compare ourselves with.I recall so vividly too, as we sat backstage finishing the touches on our stupid little outfits (which were, by the way, exceptionally glitzy and covered in sequins and glitter, complete with a huge feather we each had to pin in our hair), S was fidgety as usual and muttering to herself.

“What? I can’t hear you…” I shouted to her ear as I pulled the hairbrush through her dark, wild hair before attempting for the final time to get the obnoxiously huge feather pinned in.

“I just still don’t know how good of an idea this whole “dance recital” thing is, you know?”

S had both hands up to make the bunny ears around the words dance and recital. The feather floated from my hands once again and glided in rocking motion to the dusty floor. We both sighed; I looked her over and saw that she was messing with her tap shoes, struggling to get them and tie the puffy ribbon laces.

“I know you hate this…but we’re almost up, S…get your shoes on!” I leaned down to help her with shoes as I hollered, “We’ve been over this – I know I owe you big time for coming to dance class with me…”

“-…and especially for making me dress like this!…my feet are killing me and we haven’t even been on stage yet!”

S’ helium voice rose to a staccato above the music and clapping of the audience. She pulled and heaved at her little feet in vain to finish getting her shoes on as I searched desperately for my left shoe. It only took me a second to see that S had it and was trying like Hell to make it fit on her right foot.

“Well, no wonder your feet hurt, that’s my shoe…”

Needless to include, our debut was hideous and we dropped out of dance class immediately following the police inquiry.

Cruel and Hard Truths.

Life is cruel in this way; I know…we each play the worst of mind games with ourselves throughout its course of time with us; we each self-fulfill handfuls of silent prophesies made; we each destroy what we love and strive hard to perfect. We each suffer the toxic illness known as The Self; and, we each inevitably become something that we never wanted to be. We each take it all for granted, every last bit of it…and we each remain blind to the ways in which The Self evolves the victim into the victimizer in order to survive another year here.
We pretend that the ways we “grow” to become better with age aren’t full-blown warped to the core: better hunters, gatherers, collectors, owners, and so on… we pretend that Life and its tragedies do not mar us; that these things don’t mold us into creatures much like everyone else – rendering indifference and ambiguity in the most raw manifestations…we pretend that we know…anything about anything at all…but, we are each just as vulnerable and naïve as the other.
I have spent my own years alive in doing these things; wasted all of the meaningful and important formidable times of my youth in believing.
I carried it around with me like a sales kiosk in a mall: always there and open to sell – but never paid much attention to by anyone who matters. I kept telling myself things that were totally fabricated just to drag myself through to the other side of another New Year’s celebration or birthday party; basically been lying to myself about very important elements in Life for as long as I have been an adult; because if I hadn’t, I would have seen the folly of my own existence with clarity early on and likely just pulled the plug. Had I been enlightened throughout the years of my youth as I have become since that time, I truly might have beat my little brother in the race to commit suicide. It is because of the knowledge I have collected as an adult, as a mom, and as a grown up human being, that I can fully comprehend (and thoroughly forgive) my brother for his decision to end his own life so young and tragically.
JJ had never been able to feed himself such lies about his own existence and what it all lead up to for him; he had never been able to convince himself that our Mom actually did love him, or that his very being was not unwanted or regrettable, in reality – not any more than any of the rest of us, at least. He somehow managed to make it all the way to age 19 without any self-comforting delusions before finally allowing the ton of bricks to land on him (a feat that often leaves me dumbfounded, in its own right); he accepted his own reality as it had seemed to have come to him during infancy and just kept on until he had enough and ceased to move on.
These days, given all that’s happened with my own irreparably damaged child, it’s so much easier for me to understand where he was coming from and how he had reached that point; experience has helped me to recognize things as they are/were when it comes to the choice he made to kill himself like he did – he always used to ask me things at night when we were falling asleep like,
“Do you think that when Mama does come back, she will still remember me?”
or
“What did I do to make Mama go?”
As the youngest and the last to be born to our often violent, highly unstable and ever-intoxicated mother, of course he took her absence very personally from the moment he became aware of it. I, on the other hand, did not seem to be affected so much by it back in those days; at least, not in any apparent or obvious way. I used to feel puzzled by his constant neediness for her, the incessant questioning and quizzing about her nature and/or appearance, and most memorably: this urgency that seemed to be hardwired into his heart and brain to reunite with her before he lost the chance. During our childhood, all JJ ever wanted for Christmas was our mom to come…he never stopped crying for her at night when he had nightmares or when he was injured at play; he never stopped dreaming like little Orphan Annie about the sun coming up tomorrow and finally shining onto his face. He also never stopped being disappointed and heartbroken; his entire world must have felt like it was on hold all the time; his little face would just light right up when he thought he saw her, or heard her voice – even if he heard someone else say er name out loud…he just wanted her so badly.
“Mama’s not gone, J…she’s just away ‘til she gets better.”
I used to say this to him often, as it had repeatedly been said to me by my older brothers or dad; I never believed in my heart that she would be coming back, though – not sure why – but, I never held on to that notion at all.
Last night I was reading through some old family stuff and something seemed to drop into my heart like a fucking lead ball from out of nowhere:
Although I might not have been at all aware of it (or affected by it in the same ways as it affected JJ), these abandonment issues I harbor did not show up in my adult life; they have been there always – and have been warped and shaped over time and by my own experiences with my mom, my late dad, and late little brother. I thought last night for some reason about my mother passing away, and how that would leave me feeling, all things considered. I can say that the emotional tidal wave that followed such thoughts was quite surprising and unexpected for me, as I failed to form the attachments to her that are necessary to feel such emotional lows…or, so I thought. Then, the thought struck me of how it would be between my step-dad and me if my mom were to pass away before him; and, I was truly terrified beyond words by the possibility of that tie being severed completely through her death.
In short, it occurred to me last night just how much I have allowed myself to bond to my recovering and medicated mother in the years I’ve been trying, despite my own inability to perceive such things as they present themselves from one day to the next. I’ve always held so much resentment and blame and anger towards her as a result of JJ’s suicide that I guess I didn’t even notice those things as they began to fade and be replaced by forgiveness and understanding; Life is cruel that way…

Hum In The Air.

Traveling swiftly,
along in between,
the shuffling feet,
dropping and lifting,
to static frequencies,
over the threshold,
off of the streets,
into the bustling,
and humming,
of a million machines,
fostering,
the very needs,
of broken human beings…
over the sounds,
of the technology,
tubes and dressings,
Hallmark blessings,
I hear her breathing,
ever-steadily,
in the darkness,
over the chorus,
of the ticks, clacks,
hisses and beeps,
she breathes her way,
through the night,
thankfully,
to see another day,
that she’d preferably,
rather not even see,
which is sadly telling,
told by the many injuries,
outside and within,
the broken bones and skin,
all of the gods damned,
technologies and,
cures known to man,
won’t change anything,
the hand,
she’s been given,
the Hell,
that she must live in…
this was once my baby,
and she will,
always be,
worth so much more,
than what she perceives,
as reality,
no hope anymore,
of something in store,
hidden from the sight of me,
I hold my breath in,
unintentionally,
if I fail to register,
rhythmic machines,
over it all,
the patients in the halls,
the button to call…
the sound I faintly hear,
here and there,
along a stream-flow,
of the hospital air,
it’s dull and low,
but a sound I know,
all too well,
it’s the rewound,
haunting sound,
high-pitched,
helium,
voice to the face,
of my baby,
saying things like,
“Mommy please help me.”

Children and (in)Justice.

A very fitting ending to my week might have been an explosion that swallowed my entire section of gridlock in rush hour – nowhere to escape to – no matter if you use your blinker, or not; another fitting scenario just as easily could’ve been something along the lines of having my limbs tied to four horses that were subsequently giddy-upped four different directions; or I maybe should have ended up asleep in some dirty crackhead’s tunnel inside of that horrid “sculpture” thing that I spent several days of last week staring at from a cush hotel balcony…that would have sucked.
The ten days leading up to yesterday seem like a dreamscape to me now, somehow – in a surreal and foggy kind of way; the entirety of the emotional expenditure on my part has left me drained, and sensing a question mark floating above my head when I try to think too hard about why that is. I have decided to let it roll off my back for now – all of it; it’s too diabolical and dramatic for me to wrap my head around, anyway. All that I know for sure is that I have lost my focus lately, despite my progress in therapy and my expanding comfortable environments (good sign!), it is suddenly clear to me that I have been quite “functionally” dissociated and detached throughout.
It’s the final “other shoe” that needs to be dropped before I can possibly breathe again like I used to. The tension and anxiety that are attached to Boo’s upcoming 18th birthday and release into a distant community, on her own and without any preparation or real world social skills – well…the underlying dread and fear have rendered me bassackwards on pretty much a daily basis for so long now that it has come to feel “normal”, almost acceptable on some days. But in truth, this ongoing stress factor for me has done a good job at riding me hard; and these days, I guess it’s time to try like Hell to put me away soaking wet.
The darkness that my life has gradually resigned to, as a result of the past six years of Living Hell in a Waking Nightmare that is directly attributed to, as well as executed by – the local courts and government funded agencies – remains as a hue that my words cannot possibly describe with any justice or worthy depiction; the needle went off the vinyl so many years ago and there has been only the hideous, brain-aching sound of the resultant scratching ever since. The professionals charged with protecting my child have collectively gang-raped me (metaphorically speaking) in succession for over six years – legally, and without shame. They have broken my pockets through repeatedly relocating my Boo further and further away in distance, and then denying me the agreed upon (prior to any of the relocations, of course) financial assistance with the lodging/traveling expenses required to maintain any kind of real “relationship” with her afterwards. These so-called professionals have been the CRIMINALS more often than not, the in the grand scheme of it all.
Yet – nobody gives a second fuck about it…because it is unbelievable right? It only happens to people on TV or in a different state than ours, right? Sadly, anyone you see in the news with similar stories is only even shown on the news because something irreversibly tragic and impossible to sweep under a carpet somewhere has happened to that person’s child(ren). I would love it if someone – ANYONE – could successfully show me any form of lasting justice in the Juvenile Court System, nationwide. I search and search these days for any documentation that sways an opinion in the direction of such a notion; one thought of Boo, and my blood starts to boil, naturally. Yes – Boo has FINALLY seen a small piece of the justice due after the Living Hell that she has been forced endure for the last SIX PLUS YEARS…but it’s hardly enough.
Notably, these crucial and trying years have been spent being forcibly separated from each other by the very same individuals and agencies that set Boo on top of the burner to begin with all that time ago. Notably, the tragic and disgustingly long line of events that have transpired as direct (and indirect) results of the Judge as well as the local DFCS’ initial fuck-ups through Failure to Protect/Failure to Act/Failure to Follow Procedure continues to be swept aside to all corners by every “professional” involved. Notably, anybody with any empowerment to have helped Boo receive said justice when it still might have meant something to her – as a child victim to a Pedophile on the county Payroll – has opted NOT to exercise such powers in the sake of a child’s fundamental human rights to be unmolested while under the COURT ORDERED “care” of an institution.

Reversed Rejection.

It was as soon as I walked through the threshold of my front door to the front porch that I heard the cries of a child – the screams that a child makes out of true panic – the scream that comes after the initial fall or impact of an injury – the scream that tells ANY mother within a three block radius that a child has been hurt.
My ‘mother bear’ instinct kicked in right away, of course; and I was instantly down my driveway and into the middle of street, trying to visualize the source of the crying, to no avail. I once again (and this is always something that tickles the shit out of me) located the source using ONLY my “good ear” to guide me. The child was across the street, up over the other side of a footbridge that begins adjacent to my house. As I huffed and puffed (I’m a smoker) my way over the bridge and down the stairway on the other side, a little boy came rushing at me with a look of sheer terror on his face – I recognized him immediately as one of the two young boys belonging to the man down the street (who totally hits on me constantly, not disrespectfully so, but it’s awkward, and I become the PTSD poster-child whenever he talks to me – yet he keeps trying!).
“Are you going to go get your Dad?” I hissed at him, not even bothering to wait for his answer as I sprinted quickly by his little form.
“Yes…” I heard him reply as he rounded the upper-corner of the stairway to cross the bridge, and disappeared into the fog. I was nearly upon the younger boy, who sat, wailing in panicked breaths, almost “Indian-Style” at the bottom of the final step of the steep, concrete stairway – with his Roller Blades still on.
“Oh Jesus…” I muttered under my breath, upon noting that last detail. Soft bones or not, it can’t be very comfortable on your ankles to sit that way with Roller Blades
“You’re okay, Buddy! You’re okay!” I realized I was already saying this from a few feet away from him. He looked up at me as I reached his tiny frame in the mud with a look full of gratitude and fear and relief and shock all at once: brightly lit blue eyes like darts into my heart. His little, shivering arms both shot upwards and outwards for me, his mouth hanging open, trailing snot and spit from his bloodied lips, still covered in a layer of loose gravel.
“You’re gonna be okay, shhhh…come here…what’s your name, again?”
I scoop him up off the ground, as I had already visually found no serious injuries outside of a bruised ego and a busted mouth.
“Alan.” He says, muffled by his own little forearm as he wipes his face with his sleeve, leaving a crimson-smeared work of booger art across the entirety of it.
“What happened, Alan – did you jump those stairs in your Roller Blades?” I ask him, obviously being silly. We’re talking 50+ steps.
“No…my brover pushed me…” He begins to cry harder again and digs his dirty, bloody face into my armpit out of shame and embarrassment.
“He did!?”
“Yes!” His voice is so full of betrayal as he answers me, his little body wracking by the sobs he can’t help but let out. My heart was so hurt by that teeny part of the entire episode, though. He digs his small fingers into my neck and shoulder as I ease my way up with him on my hip.
“Let’s just sit up and check out your battle wounds, okay?”
“Kay…” His slowly calming voice sounds infused with helium.
Just then, his Dad and brother came booking down the stairway towards us, I said “I think he’s okay…sorry if we alarmed you…”
I handed Alan off to his grateful father without any further incident, or so I thought. Ever since that day (about three weeks ago), Alan and his father have come to say “hello” to me on two separate occasions. Yesterday, they invited me to go out with them…it’s tough because I don’t know to tell an adorable little button-faced boy (and his Dad, more importantly) that I’m broken and a waste of their’ time and energy.